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Cecily the cat has a lifelong disability. It hasn’t stopped her from spreading positivity online through fashionable outfits

<i>The Cattery</i><br/>Cecily the cat models a turquoise and orange dress with a bow.
The Cattery
Cecily the cat models a turquoise and orange dress with a bow.

By Ashley R. Williams, CNN

(CNN) — To her tens of thousands of adoring online fans, fashionable two-legged feline Cecily is the cat’s pajamas.

The 5-year-old Siamese-mix is a permanent resident of The Cattery animal shelter in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she’s lived since she was 2 months old, said Katie Hatfield, The Cattery’s social media manager.

The no-kill shelter takes in and rehabilitates abandoned, abused and homeless cats.

Cecily, a white-and-gray cat with bright blue eyes, was born with Manx syndrome. The condition in cats impacts spinal development.

“Her organs didn’t develop as well, or they’re just not operating correctly, so she can’t control her bladder or her bowels,” Hatfield, who’s worked at The Cattery for four years, told CNN.

The bio of Cecily’s Instagram page, which was created to highlight the cat’s creative fashion choices, says her “back legs were amputated due to a deformity and I have to wear a diaper.”

The condition, which led to the removal of Cecily’s deformed hind legs, hasn’t gotten her down, according to Hatfield.

“But I’m not sad!” concludes the cat’s social media page description.

The lifelong ailment hasn’t slowed Cecily down, either. “She’s very strong, she’s very fast,” Hatfield said. “Despite her disability, she just keeps persevering; she’s such a sweet cat.”

The Instagram account managed by The Cattery’s staff, which has over 16,000 followers, is all about spreading positivity to others by sharing Cecily’s weekly fashion updates and other content.

The adorable cat also has a dedicated Facebook page and private group with over 32,000 and 21,000 fans, respectively.

The colorful dresses and outfits began as a way to cover the diapers Cecily wears daily, Hatfield said.

“We had a lady who knew how to sew really well, and she made Cecily a full-body harness that helps keep that diaper on her body,” she said.

The seamstress also created “a ton of custom tailored outfits to Cecily’s shape and size,” according to Hatfield.

When the cat isn’t wearing her usual blue shark pajamas, Hatfield said she poses for weekly photo shoots in fun designs that get shared online.

“We have so many really cute outfits for her that go over the harness,” Hatfield said. “We call her our fashionista.”

The Cattery, which currently houses over 180 cats, began getting more active on social media during the pandemic.

“We decided to try to reach people all over the world to raise awareness about disability in cats, especially Manx syndrome, and of course spread positivity during a (hard time) for so many people,” Hatfield said.

The cat’s social media presence and quirky outfits seem to touch people in unexpected ways, the social media manager noted.

“I think it’s kind of inspirational for people to realize (Cecily) just keeps going,” Hatfield said. “We’re always posting positive things and trying to lift people up, I think that’s important.”

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